Washington, D.C. — Today, during the latest special session called by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to push through his harmful agenda, the Texas Senate passed Jim Crow-style voter suppression legislation in an effort to disenfranchise Texas voters of color and with disabilities while keeping alive Trump’s Big Lie. In response, government watchdog Accountable.US called out businesses and their executives that have recently donated to the lawmakers trying to deny the freedom to vote to vulnerable Texans.
Accountable.US recently released a report showing that leading U.S. corporations and executives have given Texas Governor Greg Abbott millions of dollars amidst his push for legislation that would disenfranchise voters in his state — with the burden falling particularly hard on Black and Latino voters, low-income voters, and voters with disabilities.
“The bill Texas lawmakers voted to advance today is a backwards, Jim Crow-style effort to disenfranchise Texans and appease the twice-impeached former president by promoting his Big Lie,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Voter suppression is bad for business, yet leading corporations contributed massively to Governor Abbott and other key state lawmakers as they worked to rip away their constituents’ right to vote. Corporations are not fooling their customers, shareholders and employees by claiming to support voting rights while quietly donating money to those trying to take those rights away. It’s now or never. Before any more barriers are erected for eligible voters, lawmakers must now hear from every corporation that has assured their customers, shareholders, and employees that they support democracy.”
“The brazen attack on democracy happening in Texas is yet another reminder why Congress has no excuse for further delay in passing sweeping federal voting rights protections,” added Herrig.
Several companies and executives that gave to Abbott, including Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and AT&T, did so despite publicly signaling their support for voter protections. Some of Governor Abbott’s most notable corporate donors include:
- $200,000 from Houston Rockets’ billionaire owner Tilman Fertitta
- $150,000 from Oncor’s leadership and Texas PAC
- $100,000 from Ryan LLC’s Texas PAC
- At least $1.9 million from oil, gas, and energy PACs and executives
- $20,000 from Whole Foods CEO John Mackey
- $15,000 from Charter Communications’ Texas PAC
Corporations didn’t just donate to Abbott — AT&T, USAA, San Antonio Spurs Board Member Jim Leininger, and oil and gas company affiliated PACs and members of their corporate leadership gave thousands to Texas state senators who voted to advance the voter restrictions in early July.
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